World Inquiries #117

12/4/15 50¢


  1. Weather
  2. Article: Queen Elizabeth II
  3. Article: Russia Joins in Airstrikes versus Syrian Enemies
  4. Article: Special Forces Hostage Rescue
  5. Article: Paris Attacks
  6. Editorial: Egypt-Russian Passenger Jet Crash
  7. Editorial: Doctors Without Borders bombing from the US
  8. Cultural Corner
  9. Hero Spotlight: Alek Skarlatos
  10. Before you go

1. Weather Forecast

Partly cloudy, cool and calm. Today's high is 75F (24C). Today's low is 35F (2C). Winds out of the Southwest at 20 to 30 mph.

2. Queen Elizabeth II

On September 9th, 2015, history was made in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II, the current “ruler” of England, became the longest ruling monarch. As of February 2016, Queen Elizabeth will have reigned for 64 years. She surpassed her 2 times great grandmother Queen Victoria. A multitude of things have happened during the Queen’s life and she has carried on through it all.

Queen Elizabeth’s reign began February 6, 1952 upon her father’s death. Queen Elizabeth has reigned through many historical events. She reigned through the latter half of the Korean War, the space race, the Vietnam war, the fall of the Soviet Union, and so much more.

Queen Elizabeth is both loved and respected by the populous and world. Australia’s Prime Minister, when talking about her reign, said “Hers has been a long, rich life of service to her country, to the Commonwealth.” Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, said she has given many, many long years of dedicated public service and the attendance here today was a sign that people want to show their gratitude to her for that.

3. Russia Joins in Airstrikes versus Syrian Enemies

On September 30, 2015, Russia joined in on the airstrikes in Syria, although they are not targeting ISIS exclusively. Scrutiny was placed on Russia after many claimed that the area that Russia bombed was not in the control of ISIS but instead in the control of another rebel group. About 36 people were killed in the air strikes led by Russia, including children. Russia allies itself with the Assad Regime and is therefore inclined to attack the enemies of the Assad Regime.

It is thought that one major reason that Russia is supportive of the Assad Regime is because Syria is host to the last remnant of power that Russia holds in the Middle East, a naval base on the port of Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea. They are also sincerely concerned of the amount of Islamic extremist along its borders and will do what they can to get rid of them. Another reason is that Syria accounts for about 10% of arm sales from Russia. Russia has stated that they will continue to support the Assad Regime against any rebel forces as, “the goal is terrorism and we are not supporting anyone against their own people.” said by Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov.

4. Special Forces Hostage Rescue

October 22nd, 2015. At 2:00 am Secretary of Defense Ash Carter approves of a raid to assist Kurdish forces in the rescue of 70 hostages from the hands of ISIS in Iraq. The US was there to provide support while the Kurdish led the force. The raid was signed off after the Kurdish urged the US to support after getting reports of mass graves that were dug up, indicating that the hostages were facing "imminent mass extinction".

The raid was successful with one casualty for the US. It would be the first time since 2011 that an American died due to combat and also the first to fall by the hands of ISIS. The unnamed serviceman died from gun wounds. The Kurdish military suffered from 4 wounded soldiers.

The raid also lead to the capture of 5 ISIS militants and the deaths of others. The captured ISIS members were handed over to the Kurdish government. The Special operation also came under scrutiny of whether or not it violated the "no boots on the ground" policy.

5. Attacks on Paris

On November 13th, 2015, Paris, France was attacked by multiple radical Islamic terrorists. This resulted in the deaths of multiple innocent civilians. The reason behind the attack was because the terrorists believe that Allah wants them to kill all of the non-believers.

Reports say that the attack began with multiple terrorists shooting up cafes and bars before retreating into their van and driving off. Then, a group of terrorists entered a concert hall and began killing the people attending an American Metal band concert. Many of the attendees didn't realize what was happening due to the gunshots mixing with the music. Finally, the terrorists attempted to gain access to the soccer stadium so they could kill the French president who was there to attend the France vs. Germany match. The president heard about the attacks but had the match continue without telling players so there would not be a panic.

Afterwards, France received the condolences of multiple world leaders like Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Angela Merkel. International support was shown in many ways, such as Facebook users adding an overlay of the French flag over their profile picture.

6. Egyptian-Russian Passenger Jet Crash

On October 31st a Passenger Jet flying from Egypt to Russia crashed in Egypt and killed all 224 passengers. Russian officials say that the plane crashed due to a 2 pound explosive that was brought on board. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with several security and foreign affairs officials. Putin says “This is not the first time Russia experiences barbaric terrorist crime...”. Putin later went on to make several strong statements such as “We remember everything and everyone” and saying that “Russians would not dry their tears, but would nevertheless find and punish those responsible.”

In such a time, with acts of terrorism occurring constantly, it is necessary to put aside differences and band together in order to wipe out a common enemy. The U.S. and Russia have been at odds for many years. However, now is not the time fight among each other. ISIS has been attacking anyone they can get their hands on, making themselves an international threat. The most powerful nations in the world need to temporarily put aside their past differences and join together to wipe out a worldwide threat.

7. Doctors Without Borders bombed by the US

On October 3rd, 2015 the US launched an airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders facility in Afghan. 12 staff members were killed and at least 10 patients, three of whom were children. 37 people were also reported to be wounded from the airstrike. The US launched the attack after receiving a request for support fire from Afghan troops. Its purpose was to eliminate a Taliban threat that was suspected to have been in in the area.

Although the United States apologized and said that they would do what is possible to ensure something like does not happen again, it really should not have happened in the first place. Understandably, Doctors Without Borders is calling this action a war crime and demands that the perpetrators pay for this heinous crime. These medics have one job in the battlefield, to tend to those that have been wounded. Yes, a battlefield has risks but this kind of risk should not be one present, especially from someone like the United States who is a major power. If nothing is done about this crime some might begin to think that they can do something similar if they have the power to back themselves up and this something that can not happen.

8. Cultural Corner- News from around the World

  1. During Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., he traveled through Philadelphia. A family was informed by a friend of theirs who was in the FBI that the Pope would be passing through their area and brought their 15 month old child who had a brain tumor. As the Pope approached, their friend took their daughter and brought her to the Pope, asking for his blessing. Six weeks later, it was discovered that the daughters tumor was now “practically invisible”.
  2. 31 states have said that they are opposing Syrian refugees entering their states. All but one of the states are run by Republicans. States cannot legally deny Syrian refugees but without their cooperation it will be extremely difficult to relocate the refugees.
  3. 193 countries are part of the United Nations, an organization that promotes international cooperation. September 15th was the 70th General assembly of the U.N. They talked of a multitude of issues from human rights to armed aggression.
  4. The sea levels change based on thermal expansion and how much land based ice there is. In recent years, sea levels have been rising. This is largely due to large ice caps beginning to melt. Sea levels are expected to rise 1 to 4 feet by 2100.
  5. The US and China are still having a strong Frenemies bond that doesn't seem like it will get better any time soon. Although China and the US agree on stopping terrorism and the spread of dangerous weaponry, conflict still arises. China is blamed by the US to have attacked US military units and stations and the US also grows worrisome that China is starting to cross certain boundaries that it really shouldn't like flying in US airspace.
  6. India has about 382 people per square kilometer compared to the US at only about 35 people per square kilometer and it is only about a third size bigger than the US. With an unemployment rate of about 10.7%, India has many people looking for jobs. In the state of Uttar Pradesh alone there is 10 million people unemployed whereas in the US there is only 8 million.
  7. The border of North and South Korea is one of the most heavily guarded military areas in the world. Tension is high between the two countries with propaganda being spewed from speakers by North Korea at a 6 mile distance at day and a 12 mile distance at night. The in deaths of 2 South Korea soldiers in August of 2015 along the border from land mines has caused some alert towards the North and whether or not it was an attack on the South.
  8. ISIS is a group that many are somewhat familiar with. They are Islamic extremists with a very big "plan" for the world. They have been noted to destroy old relics and to be enemies with every major power there is. Many smaller countries are also against ISIS. The oppositions of ISIS are not trusting of each other and that has lead to some unique problems like the Russian air strikes against rebel forces of Syria that are also fighting ISIS. It is currently unknown if a unification will ever be established, even if temporary, to fight the extremist ideals of the terrorist group known as ISIS.

9. Hero Spotlight: Alek Skarlatos

Alek Skarlatos was on vacation in France with 2 friends when they prevented a possible massacre. The trio was on a train when they saw a man walk out of the bathroom with a gun. The trio, who were trained soldiers, managed to subdue the gunman and gained international renown, being awarded France’s “National Order of the Legion of Honor”. Skarlatos was then invited to join “Dancing With The Stars” where he made it to the finals. The men risked their lives in order to save others. Although they are not leaders, they can be looked as as some sort of role models.

10. Before you go Top 5 Countdown

5. Starting up at #5, a decent size replica of both the Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars and of the Titanic were built with Legos and put into display at a Poland museum. The amount of dedication needed for the building of these replicas is beyond what most are capable of. It is quite a feat of human testimony to some degree.

4. Next up at #4, in Southern California there is a number of dogs, known as surf-furs, who are being taught how to surf low waves. It is interesting what animals can learn and it is also has a comical feel to it as it is not something one would normally expect to see.

3. At #3, in Seattle, Washington Pike Place Market there is a wall covered with gum. It was started about 20 years ago when movie goers decided it was better to stick the gum to the wall than under their seats, at least, according to legend. The dedication placed on the continuation of this tradition is fascinating to say the least. It is also worthy to note that although the city is going to clean the wall up they expect the tradition to continue for years to come.

2. Taking the #2 spot, during a baseball game in, I'm assuming, Australia a kid by the name of Ethan was tasked with singing the National Anthem in front of the audience. Ethan got the hiccups while singing but persevered through the anthem. Ethan showed commitment to his job and did not back down from the challenge when presented with an obstacle. He is a brave kid for doing so and that is why he was included.

1. And at #1, NASA created a "Hedgehog" rover that has 3 flywheels on the inside that make it possible for the rover to get unstuck from something that an conventional rover would get stuck in. It is pretty interesting how much we have advanced in space exploration technology and this just shows a fraction of our possible future.